Breaking Through review: Katalin Karikó’s amazing Nobel story

Katalin Karikó receiving her Nobel prize in Stockholm in 2023

TT News Agency/Alamy

Breaking Through
Katalin Karikó (Bodley Head (UK); Crown (US))

IN OCTOBER 2023, the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine went to Katalin Karikó for helping to lay the groundwork for mRNA-based covid-19 vaccines, alongside her collaborator, Drew Weissman. Yet only a few years earlier, Karikó’s career had been spoken of “in hushed tones as a cautionary tale for young scientists”.

Karikó’s story is a classic in the genre of underdogs succeeding against the odds. In her autobiography, Breaking Through:…

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